Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Böll mss., 1955-1956, consist primarily of letters and cards from German author and Nobel Prize winner, Heinrich Böll, 1917-1985, to his American agent, Joan Daves. They are filed in chronological order; all are in German, and a brief summary of each follows this description. Three printed pieces complete the collection: an eight-page tear sheet of Abenteuer eines Brotbeutels; a photocopy of a different printing of the same story, signed by Böll; and four galley sheets of Europa with pencilled corrections.

Purchase. George Robert Minkoff, Rare Books. Alford, MA 01230

Summary of correspondence

  • 1955, Aug, 13. Ireland. A.Pc.S. Thanks Daves for letter and expresses pleasure at having met her.
  • 1955, Oct. 4. Cologne. T.L.S. 2p. Now that he is home he will send her some stories, as well as "Irish Impressions." He has also written a new book that will be passed on to her when it comes out.
  • 1956, May 21. Cologne. A.Pc.S. He will be back in Keel [Ireland] as of June 1. Asks if she will as agent for ["Dr. Murke's Collected Silences"] in England as well as the U.S.
  • 1956, June 12. Keel. [Ireland] T.L.S. 1p. He is sending Daves all the "Irish Impressions." Tells her that Richard Graves has translated one of his stories and gives her Graves address to request a copy. He, Böll, is translating Patrick White's Tree of Man for the publisher Witsch.
  • 1956, June 12. Keel. A.Pc.S. Says that "Dr. Murke" was broadcast on BBC in London and that another of his stories will be done by the same people. Reports that he has all rights to his short stories and gives Daves a free hand in negotiating their publication.
  • 1956, June 25. Keel. T.L.S. 1p. Responds to apparent question about his connection with Rosica Colin, saying that he doesn't know how closely Kiepenheuer and Witsch are working with her where his works are concerned. Plans to send Daves more short stories in August.
  • 1956, [July] 17. Keel. T.L.S. 2p. Böll dated the letter 17.6.56, but another hand has changed 6 to 7 and the stamped received date is Jul 23, 1956] He thinks Daves should have a general power of attorney to deal with all his stories, radio dramas , etc. and asks her to draw up such a document for his signature. He is sending a short story and a radio drama that he wrote for the anniversary of Schubert's death.
  • 1956, July 24. Keel. T.L.S. 1p. Sends the last page of the Schubert manuscript. Has referred a Richard Plant to her as possible text editor.
  • 1956, July 30. [Ireland] T.L.S. 2p. He has told Mrs. Colin she may have "Dr. Murke" for England and that he is selling world rights to "Waage der Baleks" and that rights to all his stories were granted for one-time use only. Wants Daves to reach an agreement with Colin on the whole question of Anglo-American rights.
  • 1956, Sept. 11. Keel. T.L.S. 2p. Suggests Daves reach agreement with his German publisher re: certain financial matters. Is sending a story to Insel Verlag and will send her a copy when he finishes it. He will be back in Cologne October 1.
  • 1956, Oct. 2. Cologne. T.L.S. 2p. Confirms that he has signed a contract with Middelhauve giving them 50% of all rights as well as the right to sell film and other such rights. He will send her a complete list of the stories he plans to compile and says he owns all rights to the stories except those in the Middelhauve volume and that she can negotiate rights to them without asking him.

Collection size: 14 items

Related manuscripts: Boll mss. II, Boll mss. III

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.